Security lapse leaks data from millions of Verizon customers – KKTV 11 News

NEW YORK (AP/KKTV) – A security researcher says a lapse has exposed data from millions of Verizon customers, leaking names, addresses and personal identification numbers, or PINs.

Verizon Wireless says 6 million customers were affected, but the company says that none of the information made it into the wrong hands. The company says the only person who got access to the data was the researcher who brought the leak to its attention.

The security firm, UpGuard, says the problem stemmed from a cloud server that a third-party vendor had misconfigured.

Gartner analyst Avivah Litan says the issue comes down to human error and it doesn’t make sense to blame cloud service providers like Amazon and Google. She says such lapses are likely common, but it’s hard to know since we only know what’s disclosed.

The following is a statement about the incident from Verizon:

As a media outlet recently reported, an employee of one of our vendors put information into a cloud storage area and incorrectly set the storage to allow external access. We have been able to confirm that the only access to the cloud storage area by a person other than Verizon or its vendor was a researcher who brought this issue to our attention. In other words, there has been no loss or theft of Verizon or Verizon customer information.

By way of background, the vendor was supporting an approved initiative to help us improve a residential and small business wireline self-service call center portal and required certain data for the project. The overwhelming majority of information in the data set had no external value, although there was a limited amount of personal information included, and in particular, there were no Social Security numbers or Verizon voice recordings in the cloud storage area.

To further clarify, the data supports a wireline portal and only includes a limited number of cell phone numbers for customer contact purposes. In addition, to the extent PINs were included in the data set, the PINs are used to authenticate a customer calling our wireline call center, but do not provide online access to customer accounts. Finally, the number of subscriber accounts included in the media report is overstated. The actual number is approximately 6 million unique customers.

Verizon is committed to the security and privacy of our customers. We regret the incident and apologize to our customers.

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Security lapse leaks data from millions of Verizon customers – KKTV 11 News

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